I’m in the thirteenth month of trying to sell my short fiction collection with no buyer in sight, and I’m officially depressed. When I say depressed, I don’t mean clinically or medically depressed. I mean good, old-fashioned sad and upset.
I have to admit that I’ve been fairly lucky as a writer. From time to time, I’ve been favored by flashes of good fortune, but the possibility of not selling my book is starting to get to me. I’m beginning to question my writing skills. I’m questioning my timing. I feel like my short stories must be too long. I feel demoralized. I’m afraid I’m going to run out of agencies, contests, and publishers to submit to. I check my inbox all the time looking for some sliver of hope. I realize the short fiction market is small, but that’s little consolation. I feel stupid for not having written a novel instead of a short story collection–I mean why didn’t I get a clue? Nobody buys short fiction anymore. I wonder whether I wasted all those nights writing a collection of (I think) thoughtful and well constructed stories that will sit in a drawer (well, not even in a drawer but on an external hard drive) until I die.
I feel stuck between things: on the one side a homeless short story collection and on the other a novel that probably (if I’m good and productive) won’t be finished until 2010. Yep, I’m officially depressed about writing.
So I turn to the awesome After the MFA community. Any thoughts? Anyone feel the same way I do? Any suggestions? How do you deal with the constant flow of rejection? How do you deal with frustration?